I’m allowed to have friends

There was a time, almost a year ago now when I was having a very difficult time in my life, and really struggling to handle things under my own strength.

So I began to rely on God more and more, and that was very helpful and relieving for a time. Eventually my friend found out I was struggling, and I spoke to him about what I was dealing with. He asked me what support I’d been seeking and who I’d been talking to about this. I said I’d been talking to God… and there was an awkward pause while he waited for me to list more people. But I hadn’t spoken to anyone else. He sighed in exasperation said to me, Steph I’m glad you’re leaning on God but this is what your friends are for – please talk to them for encouragement. You don’t have to do this alone.

I knew he was right because as soon as the words left his mouth, I felt a pressure lift off of me. I could always rely on God, but my loving Father had placed people in my life who loved me and that I could trust with anything. I’m allowed to talk to my friends for help, I don’t have to keep it between myself and God.

This is a blessing that every Christian can enjoy now, even before the resurrection and new heavens and new earth. While we will suffer here now for a while, we have our church family to help us.

Mark 10:29-30 – “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.

We will lose homes and family now in this age. We will face persecution and feel the pain of living in a sinful world. But we have a new family, countless brothers and sisters across the world who are there to love you as a family should.

You don’t have to suffer alone. You don’t have to pray in secret, with fear and desperation, feeling lonely and disconnected from those around you. You can build close friendships in your church by sharing those moments and sharing your struggles and successes. Weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. We are all waiting for the renewal of our world, the return of King Jesus and we long for things to be made perfect. In the meantime, we live together and we love each other.

It can be a real challenge for me to confess to my friends the true depths of my struggles in life, but my friend’s response to me was right – that’s what friends are for. When I revealed the challenges I was dealing with to a trusted Christian mentor last week, it was a weight off my heart and I received loving support and genuine care – it brought me to tears to feel that true concern and love of family.

Make use of your networks. Talk to your friends. Be brave enough to ask for help.

Stay safe my lovely,

kp

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